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Russia deploys 470,000 troops to captured Ukraine's land

Russia deploys 470,000 troops to captured Ukraine's land Representative of Ukraine's Defence Intelligence, Vadym Skibitskyi (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

The Russian Federation has deployed around 470,000 military personnel to Ukraine. Russia has also reinforced the border coverage on the territories of the Belgorod, Kursk, and Bryansk regions ahead of the "elections", as a representative of Ukraine's Defence Intelligence, Vadym Skibitskyi, says in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

"If we talk about what has changed during this time, it is the number of troops deployed on our territory. Currently, the land component, the land part of the deployed troops located on the territory of Ukraine, amounts to about 470,000 military personnel. That is only the land component, excluding aviation, not counting the naval fleet, which is also involved in operations and strikes," Skibitskyi said.

According to him, a new component has appeared in the Russian army, which was not there at the beginning of the full-scale invasion. He is referring to the troops of the Russian National Guard deployed on the temporarily occupied territories.

"As of now, troops of the Russian National Guard are deployed on the temporarily occupied territories. It is almost 33,000 military personnel. They ensure the activities of the occupation authorities, protect strategic facilities, and if necessary, can perform defense tasks specifically within the temporarily occupied territories," he said.

Over the past two years, there has also been the deployment of troops for the so-called border coverage of the Russian Federation. These are military personnel based in the territories of three Russian regions - Belgorod, Kursk, and Bryansk. Presumably, it is related to the fact that Ukraine will perform "more active, appropriate actions on the territory of the Russian Federation".

"Perhaps it is necessary: to shift the war to the territory of Russia. They have concentrated there about 30,000 military personnel. Recently, they have also been reinforced by units of the 116th Rosgvardiya brigade, which were redeployed. Three battalions were transferred from our Mariupol to the territory of the Belgorod region. As they admit, to ensure the security and conduct the elections for the never-ending Putin. These are the changes that have mostly happened in the numerical strength of the land component," Skibitskyi added.

According to Defence Intelligence, a very important change over these two years is the isolation of the Black Sea Fleet, as all the main combat ships of Russia are stationed in Novorossiysk.

"They can only enter Sevastopol (Crimea - ed.) for replenishment of ammunition, reloading, or, if necessary, for combat duty. All the activity of the Black Sea Fleet is seen near the coast of Crimea or in the eastern part of the Black Sea. We have completely ensured the ability to control and strike at the Black Sea Fleet today if it enters the north-western part, allowing to restore the sea corridor," he adds.

Escalation on the front

Ukrainian forces left Avdiivka, taking more advantageous positions further out of the city. The commander of the Tavria direction reported that some Ukrainian soldiers had been captured.

The occupying forces have been trying to take Avdiivka since the fall of 2023. In February, the situation on this front became critical. Fighters of the Third Assault Brigade were relocated to the area of Avdiivka to reinforce the Ukrainian defense.

Read more about how leaving Avdiivka will affect the front line in the coverage by RBC-Ukraine.